It may seem a little oxymoronic that Christians call today, the day traditionally associated with the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, “Good Friday.” I mean, most people don’t exactly equate death with “good.” But today is a good, good day because behind all the suffering and agony of the crucifixion, there was a promise…a promise of forgiveness, redemption, and everlasting joy.
“For the joy set before Him, [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3.
Originally, I was planning on writing a relatively lengthy post about the events of that first Good Friday and some ideas for how to spend yours. That’s no longer going to happen though, for a couple of reasons: (1) because my simple words could never tell the story as poignantly and powerfully as the Word of God, and (2) quite honestly, because I’ve got a church service to attend coming up here soon. So instead of doing that, I’ll be sharing a journal entry about a church service I went to earlier this week and a mini Good Friday playlist for you.
PASSION SERVICE ’18
We Americans love our “How It’s Made” shows…the programs that give behind-the-scenes glances at our most used products…how they’re manufactured and just how they get from the factory to the warehouse to our living rooms or kitchen drawers. Well, my school’s annual Passion service is something of a “How It’s Made” for our salvation, showing all the moving parts that went into it…the cruelty and the anguish…the bleeding and the love, and giving us a better idea of just how salvation comes from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit, and finally into the hearts of the children of men. This was my third time attending the Passion service, and each time I’ve been, I’ve loved it more than the time before. I hope I never stop going as long as my university has them. We journeyed through John this Lent, and the service readings were from John chapters 12-19. We walked through His anointing at Bethany and His triumphal entry riding on a donkey. We entered into that upper room where He washed His disciples’ feet and fed them bread and wine. We ate and drank and were washed as well. We went to the garden with Him and prayed with Him there. And we watched as He was arrested, taken away, scourged, and nailed to the cross. We looked on as He died. It was an incredibly powerful experience, and I am ever so thankful for my Savior’s love…in awe of how far He went and much He endured all to ransom my soul. Jesus, thank You for enduring unmatched evil and wrath to save me from the sin I chose. Thank You for loving me even when I act faithlessly like Peter, even when I drive nails of sin, even when I call out mockery, even when I spit in the face of Your providence. Thank You for Your overcoming grace that has the victory and for an evening to reflect upon it here.
GOOD FRIDAY WORSHIP
Love Is Here [Tenth Avenue North]
Brokenness Aside [All Sons & Daughters]
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us [LSB]
Grace Flows Down [Christy Nockels]
Lead Me to the Cross [Hillsong]
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted [Fernando Ortega]
O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken? [LSB]
Were You There? [LSB]
All of the songs and hymns listed above are beautiful and affecting, but if you’re only going to listen to one, make it Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted by Fernando Ortega. It’s currently having its moment as my favorite worship song.
Wishing you all a blessed Good Friday, friends. May you remember the words spoken by our Lord in John 19:30. “‘It is finished.’ May those words land on your bones for the nights when fear tells you the cross was a beginning and you must finish the grace.”
It is finished. It is done. In three short days, we will celebrate Him rising VICTORIOUS.